Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"We'd have most of what we predicted of the conquest of space, if we hadn't ignored parasite control."
- Larry Niven

Dray-Fish  
  Large fish trained to be harnessed to large houseboats.  

The citizens of Sirene appear to have little need for advanced electronics; most of their needs are met by the remarkable fecundity of the Titanic littoral. In this case, motive power for their houseboats is provided by large marine animals.

He bent over the rails, peered down into the underwater pens where Toby and Rex, the slaves, were harnessing the dray-fish for the weekly trip to Fan, eight miles north. The youngest fish, either playful or captious, ducked and plunged...

The fish were finally harnessed... The dray-fish strained, the harness tautened, the houseboat moved north.

From The Moon Moth, by Jack Vance.
Published by Pocket Books in 1976
Additional resources -

So, could fish provide motive power for a boat?

In 1936, Sir James Gray promulgated the following paradox: dolphins are observed to swim very fast, but if you calculate the available musculature, there is no where near enough power. Yet they do swim fast. Hence the paradox.

In 1960, it was hypothesized that the compliance (it has "give" to it due to the blubber that underlies it) of dolphin skin would delay water flowing over the skin, preventing turbulence. This would greatly reduce the factor of drag, and remove the paradox. More recently, however, it was shown that while dolphin skin reduces drag, it is also true that dolphin musculature provides significantly more power than a human being's - which is what Gray's calculations were based on. So there is no paradox, and yes, there could be dray-fish!

Take a look at the float-home, from Whipping Star, by Frank Herbert, for another way for a marine animal to power a boat.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Moon Moth
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Moon Moth
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

Articles related to Transportation
Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
Musk Declares Tesla Supercharger Capacity Will Double By Next Year
Ford's Autonomous Cabs 'Transportation As A Service'
World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.'

Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.

Negative Matter Fluid Theorized In New Paper
'Of course, being negative matter, when you push it, it comes toward you..'

Grow Structures Upon Planetfall - Myco-Architecture
'They'll also start pulling in gases and liquids from the local atmosphere...'

MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...'

EXPLORER, The First Total-Body Scanner
'The object is built up of an infinite series of plane layers, at the focus of the ray...'

UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'

Sonitus Audio Interface Positioned Beyond The Noise
'... an instrument having relatively small bit pieces adapted to be gripped between the teeth.'

Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag'

Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.